3 ways to... Create a bird café

By providing food for birds you not only help the survival of our garden species, but also provide endless enjoyment for your family as you watch the birds coming and going.

3 ways to... Create a bird café

By providing food for birds you not only help the survival of our garden species, but also provide endless enjoyment for your family as you watch the birds coming and going. Keep a diary and you'll all be experienced twitchers by the time the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch comes around in January!

1.
Pine cones are great for filling with tasty treats for hungry birds. Tie a loop of string around the base for hanging, and then cram the gaps with goodies. Grated cheese and raw pastry work well. You can even dip the pine cones in unsalted peanut butter and then sprinkle them
with bird seed.

2.
Raid your recycling box for an old plastic drinks bottle. Make two small holes opposite each other, near the bottom of your bottle, and
push a long pencil or piece of cane through them. Repeat the process slightly higher up the bottle, with the pencil sticking out the other side. These will act as perches for the birds, so they need to fit snuggly. Pierce a small hole above each perch that is slightly bigger than the size of the seeds. Fill your feeder with birdseed and replace the cap, then use wire or string to hang it from a tree or your washing line. If your feeder starts to wear out or the food in it goes mouldy, simply recycle it and make another one!

If you want a more stylish option, the RSPB sells a wide range of bird feeders. We love this fun terracotta apple design, £11.50 from www.shopping.rspb.org.uk.
Remember to keep feeding the birds all year round as they will come to rely on your café, especially during the breeding season and in winter when natural food is harder to find. Different species prefer different types of food too, so try to offer a varied 'menu'. You can find out what's suitable at www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/helpingbirds/feeding/whatfood.

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